Recipe: Pork Belly and Spring Corn Maque Choux
Chef Troy Deano of 18 Steak at L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge shares a dish.
Cheryl Gerber photograph
Troy Deano has established a name for himself in Baton Rouge, having worked his way through the ranks of a Louisiana chef with an already-established big name, John Besh. Deano, a native of Chalmette in St. Bernard Parish, worked for the Besh Restaurant Group for seven years, serving as sous chef at Luke San Antonio, Besh Steakhouse New Orleans and La Provence near Mandeville, where he learned to appreciate the farm-to-table movement.
A less glitzy but just as nourishing opportunity came while at Besh Restaurant Group when Deano was contracted to provide approximately 1,800 meals daily to St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Department personnel and other first responders following Hurricane Katrina. Deano’s first experience at a casino was when he managed a culinary team of nearly 20 employees at Big Sky Steakhouse at Coushatta Casino Resort. Deano regularly demos at the Red Stick Farmers Market, local nonprofit events and local universities, proving that the best food comes with a story.
Pork Belly and Spring Corn Maque Choux
2 pounds pork belly
4 cans Tin Roof Perfect Tin Amber Ale
1 cup celery
1 cup onion
1 cup carrot
1 each jalapeno
2 tablespoons salt
• Rough chop all vegetables and place in roasting pan
• Place pork belly on top of vegetables
• Pour Tin Roof over the belly and add salt
• Make sure that the belly is fully submerged under beer. If belly is not fully submerged, make sure to add a bit of water
• Cover with plastic and foil
• Preset oven to 250 degrees.
• Place pan in the oven and roast for 4 hours.
Once the belly is done, it’s easiest to let it cool just a bit and remove from braising liquid (be gentle; it will be very tender).
Deano likes to add some extra flavor to the belly by reducing the braising liquid to about a pint.
The liquid, finished with a 1/4 pound of butter, makes a very rich and flavorful finishing sauce.
Spring Corn Maque Choux
1 ounce duck fat
1 quart corn (fresh shucked)
4 tablespoons jalapeno
4 tablespoons red bell pepper
4 tablespoons shallots
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons lime zest
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 tablespoons sambal
2 tablespoons butter
• In a hot skillet add duck fat.
• Add the onion, pepper and jalapeno; sauté until they become slightly browned.
• Add all other ingredients except the butter and stir until liquids have been fully reduced.
• Remove from heat and fold in butter to the maque choux. This will give the maque choux a creamy glaze that is rich in flavor.
Cut the belly into 1-by-3-inch rectangle shaped pieces.
Deano uses his grandmother’s cast-iron skillet with about 2 ounces of bacon fat to sear the belly and give it a good, crispy texture to the outside.
Place the seared pork belly on top of your maque choux, garnish with some fresh basil and enjoy.